Friday, 31 July 2009

Travelog part VIII

20090729, 7AM. Midga's alarm goes off again. (Why can't he figure out how to turn the silly thing off when he doesn't want it? Next thing he'll be sleeping through it.) I take breakfast in the diner, then mooch back and play with Traal.

11AM. Lunch, again in the diner.

2PM. Arrive NY Penn; get wifi at ClubAcela. The person we were to meet now can't, so all we have to do is get to the airport. People here aren't nearly as helpful or courteous as we've become accustomed to, and the station itself is just way less friendly... still, after a few tries, we find out how to get ourselves to Jamaica Station, which is where the AirTrain departs from.

3:51PM. We're on the AirTrain. This thing is completely driverless... impressive, but leaves me wondering: what happens in a serious emergency? Is anyone monitoring from afar? It's rather neat though. We get a driver's eye view of the entire journey! The train runs at a pretty good clip, but not too fast for us to see the road signs on the way in, and find out that Aer Lingus departs from Terminal 4. Pull-ups at stations are about like a human driver would - definitely no worse, although if a computer is in charge, I would expect some more precision.

3:58PM. Arrival at Terminal 4. Now to find Aer Lingus and check in... we have 1h 47m before the plane departs.

4:25PM. We're through airport security. My prediction was off - I figured it would be less than an hour that we have to "just kill", but here we are, killing an hour twenty. Aer Lingus service is good.

6:08. Another 15 mins to takeoff :(

20090730, 5:15AM (now on GMT+1): We arrive Dublin. Cabin crew seem surprised by the rapid approach.

6:00AM. Midga lost his passport! Ack! Returned to plane in case it was there. Nope. Searched all pockets. Nothing found. We're discussing what to do - can we call on the embassy for help??? - but fortunately the passport turns up, in an unexpected pocket of the jacket. WHEW! Praise God. Meanwhile, I've been looking for wifi (you can do anything as long as you have an internet connection, everyone who watches movies knows that). Airport wifi costs money, but you can get live arrival/departure information without paying. That's a Good Thing, although personally I reckon they shouldn't need to charge at all.

6:30AM. We burn rubber through the customs checks etc and get onto our transiting flight. I misread the boarding pass; it said gate closes 6:15 and plane departs 6:40, but I thought the plane actually departed 6:15, which would have meant we'd have been seriously tight for time. As it happened, we got there at the tail end of regular boarding (even after going to the wrong set of gates, as we had NO idea what gate our flight left from - fortunately any ground crew can pull up that sort of info.) We board; on the AirStairs, there was a terminal with what seemed to be a telnet session for control or information. Midga walks up behind and says "GEEK"! (Me: "Guilty as charged". Crew member who was busily telnetting (to an address in 10.*.*.*, as it happened): Something dismissive, told us to get on board (with a sense of humour).)

6:36AM. Pushback.

6:43AM. Takeoff. (Not as bad congestion as JFK!)

6:51AM. Midga and I have a discussion about airline crews and accents. I think the Canadian and Kiwi accents are the nicest to listen to of all I've heard... airlines (especially countries' official airlines) need to take good care who they hire, not just because their courtesy and helpfulness reflects on the country, but also because of the accent! Incidentally, as regards helpfulness and courtesy, the only city in which we really missed out was New York. We were scurrying around, trying to get from the railway station to the airport, and didn't find anyone who was all that helpful, although we did end up getting the info we needed.

7:00AM. Midga's alarm fires. Duh.

8:04AM. We're down. Now to gunzel our way to Buxton!

9:08AM. Our luggage is missing. Blah. Well, at least it happened on THIS leg, and not one of the earlier ones where we had no time built in. Guess it'll be sent on to our lodgings. We're now sitting on a train about to head to London Victoria, from which we can get to Euston and thence hopefully Manchester.

3:30PM. Adventures, adventures. I've had enough adventures for a while now, can we just settle down please? Sigh. And it totally doesn't help that everything is noisy, full of smokers, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera. I hate cigarette smoke.

20090731, 1:30PM. Just woke up for the Nth time, but this time I'm actually getting up (rather than logging on to Thresh, poking around, and going back to bed). Time to wake up my voice and ring about the luggage.

No comments: